Last night, my neighbour may have slept with her pillows to her ears as I listened to and sang along with Michael W. Smith, “Your grace, your grace shines on me. Shines on me, shines on me, I’m everything with you. Shines on me, shines on me. It’s your grace”.
I did a vigil last night and this song was all I sang. It was and is still on replay.
It’s a clear Saturday and rather than dress up and go out, I just want to remain naked on my bed. Mama had to scold me for ignoring her calls and answering baby brother’s calls. Why blame me? I love my siblings and I feel responsible for them. I have watched them grow from new borns to toddlers and now to near-teenagers and I miss that I am not there to guide them in their decision making. I have read the letters they always sneak into my bag in the rare occasions that I visit home.
“I love you, big sis. I will never forget you”.
“Big sis, please come home next time. Daddy is very boring”.
“You are the best sister in the world”.
Tell me why I should forget people who think of me, pray for me, pray with me, scold me and tell the world about me? This is family. Family is everything!
I stare at my phone and wonder why this man keeps calling. This is weird. Few days ago, his call would have been promptly answered. We would talk for some time about life and work and he would seek my advise regarding some decisions he wants to make. Then he would express appreciation and be thankful for my wonderful soul. Now, these calls are a waste of time, they are like unwanted visitors trying to share my space with me when my space belongs to me and no one else.
I do not want any more attention and have unconsciously filtered my friends – no time for past lovers, friends who have shallow discussions, people who type in shorthand etc.
I would deactivate my Facebook if I had not sent out the link to companies where I applied for internship. Who knows when they decide to investigate?
One thing that has always come easy to me is dreaming. I set a goal and fiercely reach for it. Birthdays aren’t at all holidays. If I needed a holiday, I’d give myself one. Working hard happens everyday so today, I begin to make new plans. The old plans do not seem to be working out and if anything, today reminds me that I do not have the luxury of making time look like a stopclock.
It is a good thing dad taught me early on the importance of having backup plans. I think of the good man that I am proud of, who raised me and I look forward to the day I’ll bring home a man and have dad sit with and talk to him.
Now that I think of it, I realize he has never really succeeded in making me talk about some boyfriend. He did try the other day I went home when he called me out and stammered some words, shifting uncomfortably on his chair. I had to save him the stress. “Daddy, I’m not dating anyone. If I am, I’ll tell mummy and she’ll tell you”. Fathers! One day he’ll read this, I know.
It’s the start of my 25th year today and what makes it different from other days is the unsolicited attention I am getting. I have had to block all incoming calls on two of my phones while I placed the third phone on silent. I think the difference between today and yesterday is that I’m starting a new year but I still miss my family – siblings who always have my back, a mother who is more an older sister to have girl talk with and laugh over boys especially her boyfriend who happens to be my dad, a father who would forget all my sins and still welcome me with his breast and run around the house threatening ‘won’t you come and suck breast?’ because I used to love breast as a baby. I know he will call me later this evening and as usual tell me to go catch the goat that just ran past me because that’s my birthday present. Family is everything and I guess this is what I am grateful for today and always – Family.
Happy 25 to the girl with the never-fading smile.
When all hope is lost and friends leave your side, those who are your true family will always be there for you through it all – Aidee Erhime